Jammu, Feb 11: Apni Party President, Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari on Sunday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold simultaneous legislative assembly and parliamentary polls in Jammu & Kashmir.
“The Government of India says we shall hold Legislative Assembly elections as well as Parliamentary Elections together. Then, they constituted a committee, but declined later, citing various reasons for elections in other states of the country,” Bukhari said while addressing a workers’ meeting at Bishnah.
He added, “The court has also directed the government to hold elections before September 2024 in J&K, but I suspect, they will not end the rule of an unpopular government in the erstwhile state.”
He however raised the question about the involvement of the non-local mafia in mining and liquor that has snatched the jobs, and trade and spiked the prices of construction materials.
“The contractors from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab exploit the resources and local labourers whereas a number of liquor shops have been opened in every nook and corner of Jammu. If this is the naya Jammu and Kashmir, then we do not want such a situation, where rights of J&K are denied,” he added.
Bukhari said the people of Jammu & Kashmir did not get any kind of benefit in the last 70 years. “The benefits were grabbed by the two families in place of the masses. However, now the time has come when the people shall be given constitutional rights of the people in J&K,” he said, adding, “The people of J&K will fight for their jobs in a democratic manner. We are a peace-loving nationalist people who never restore to any kind of violent means.”
Altaf congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister, Amit Shah for granting reservation to a tribe of J&K.
“Those who have an objection to the reservation shall not worry about their issues because the Apni Party is there to support them. We will never allow discrimination with anyone,” he added while seeking a response from the government regarding issues of the Dogra speaking belt in the Jammu region.
“If the reservation can be granted to a tribe to address their long pending demands, he said then why couldn’t the concerns and demands of Jammu Dogras, Kashmiri speaking, and other communities be addressed by holding Assembly Elections and restoring the statehood to Jammu & Kashmir,” he asked.
Highlighting concerns of unemployed youth, the Apni Party chief demanded a five-year extension in upper age limits to the aspirants of central government jobs /Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in favour of the youth from Jammu & Kashmir. He highlighted the concern that the unscheduled power cuts across both regions have further added problems for the students.